Saturday, January 31, 2009

Follow Your Nose

I love listening to my kids' conversations. We were visiting Sonic at happy hour. Bookworm was heard to say "Aren't you glad your nose is on your face?' to her sister.

I started laughing. She wanted to know why. "Where else would it be?" I replied.

Bookworm: Well, if it was in the back of your head, your hair would be tickling it, and you'd sneeze all of the time
Popcorn: And you'd get snot in your hair!!!
Me: If it was on your elbow, it sure would hurt if you banged it.
Popcorn: If it was above your ear, snot would run in your ear! (are you catching a theme here?)
Bookworm: If it was in your armpit, it would sure stink! Unless you use deodorant of course.
Popcorn: Ewww, snot in your armpit! Snot on your deodorant!

We all laughed until we snorted our Sonic drinks out of our noses.........

Which were thankfully on our faces.

Friday, January 30, 2009

An Ode to Billy Jack

Do you ever wonder what nurses discuss around the water cooler? Well, here you go!

It began as any other day in the hospital. It ended as anything but. I was due to get off duty at 4pm. At about 3:30 I was done...physically, emotionally, mentally. I ran to the break room and hid while I drank a cup of high quality hospital coffee...Fully leaded. Of course, I have a pager, and since I'm spread out over 3 floors, I can really only hide for so long before someone beeps me.

At about 3:40 I decided to do my final rounds through the radiology department. First stop, CT. I entered the holding area to find an older gentleman attempting to climb off the end of the his stretcher. He'd been in the ER for 3 hours (really a very short time by ER standards) and his legs were hurting...And he needed to use the facilities. I helped him to the bathroom, asked him why he was here, and helped him get situated as comfortably as possible on a stretcher.

Billy Jack: "I've been through a lot in my life. I've really suffered, but nothing compared to this."
Me: Is that right?
Billy Jack: Yeah, I've been under a lot of stress lately. Well, I'm a prisoner.

You can imagine my surprise at this bit of information. I was immediately fascinated, and strangely not afraid. Of course, I'd already spent 10 minutes virtually alone with him, and he hadn't tried to strangle me yet. I guess I figured I was safe.

It seems my friend, who called himself "Billy Jack" started his life of crime at the tender age of 9. He had no one to take care of him. He was living in fields and sleeping in people's barns. He was caught killing chickens (to boil and eat, of course) and sent to reform school.

His next stint in the slammer was at the age of 16. He was put there for robbing banks. He's been in and out of trouble his entire life. Mostly in trouble. He spent the majority of his life in prison. But he's not a bad person. He's just had a hard life.

He was in Dallas when JFK was shot. "Were you involved in the plot?," I asked. Yes. I did. As a nurse I have the ability to ask anyone anything, and can justify it to myself that I need to get an accurate history. Granted, I only knew him as "Billy Jack," and I was only killing time until I had to go while he awaited his CT scan, but you can never underestimate the value of a good patient history. Especially when it could be a great post on a blog!

Okay, I digressed. No, he wasn't involved in JFK's assassination. He was attempting to break out of jail in Dallas at the time of the assassination. But he's not a bad person. He's just had a hard life.

Interesting.

He finally ended up in jail for murder. He shot two people. But only because they were going to kill him. He just killed them first. He said the jury didn't see it that way. But, again, my friend Billy Jack is not a bad person. He's just had a hard life.

He ended up in a hospital for the criminally insane. He was institutionalized with John Hinckley, Jr, the man who shot Reagan. "They called it a hospital, but there were no windows. There was razor wire at the top of the fence, and guards with machine guns in the towers waiting to shoot you if you tried to do anything or escape." It sounded like a rough hospital. I guess they don't give you a lot of amenities in facilities for the criminally insane.

During this fascinating "patient assessment" (I like that term better than the idea that I'm just nosy) I also learned he did 8 years in Alcatraz, along with several other institutions that I can't remember all of the names of. But he's not a bad person. He's just had a hard life.

You see, Billy Jack has always had another person living inside of him. This person keeps him safe. This person also keeps the people on the outside safe.

"Wait a minute, does he mean this other person is keeping him safe, or me safe from him?" I was contemplating this during the remainder of our conversation.

I asked him where his guards were, since he's a prisoner. *You see, Gentle Reader, I worked in a hospital that had a contract with the federal prison system. Let me assure you that these prisoners were shackled to their beds and had 2 armed guards on them at all times. And, depending on their crime, they could have 2 armed guards outside the door also. The really creepy thing is when you realize they are there to protect the patient, not you, in case a family member comes seeking vengeance. On another day I'll tell you about my experience with a former mafia leader.* It seems he went to a halfway house 32 days ago. He's been on good behavior for several years, so even though the federal government still owns him, he has more freedom now. He will eventually be released on parole, but even then, he will "still belong to the government."

Yep, Billy Jack, is certainly a misunderstood soul......By the way, I never verified his name with his bracelet. I just started helping him and asked his name. The CT tech came in to interview him for his exam. He apparently knew who he was. He stood like 10 feet away from him, and asked his questions. It was seriously funny because I could tell he was really... uncomfortable with him. You see, we of course report details like "this patient is a homicidal maniac" when we send patient's to someone else's unit. Anyway, he verified his name (which WASN'T Billy Jack, just in case you're wondering), and the patient said "Call me Billy Jack."

You know I didn't believe his stories right? Except about the person living in him. I think he may have been in and out of jail. Maybe for murder, maybe for bank robbery, but definitely not ALL of the places he listed. At least I hope not. Because, if they released him for good behavior, like he said, he's still crazy, and by crazy I mean yes, he's mentally ill and possibly dangerous. Who's to say that person on the inside will stay in control?

You also know I googled (click) Billy Jack when I got home, right? Billy Jack was a character in a series of movies in the 1970s. He was a former green beret, half Indian, who did time in prison for involuntary manslaughter. Could this be similar to "I killed them before the killed me?" The movies take place in Oklahoma during the depression. Another similarity? Hmmmm....

So, what do you think, Dear Reader? Did I meet a poor, confused man who assumed the personality of a 1970s movie hero?

Or......

Did I look into the eyes of a serial killer who began with poor hapless chickens at the tender age of nine, and ended with a double homicide?

Who knows? But it sure made the last 20 minutes of my day fly by!

BTW, if you haven't figured out what we discuss around the water cooler...We discuss freaks. Absolute freaks.

Good Morning Sunshine

We had an ice storm here in Oklahoma this week. These pictures may look like snow on the ground, but it was actually about 3 inches of sleet accumulated. We were thankful it came down as sleet, not rain, because that meant there were very few power outages.

I headed to work yesterday morning. I left with plenty of extra time to account for icy roads. I made Studmuffin back me out of the driveway. I was afraid I'd slide into our mailbox or one of the neighbors. Imagine my surprise when I say THIS at the end of my driveway at 6:15 yesterday morning.

I was not a happy camper. To be honest, I was blaming it on the kids next door. Our neighbors to the East have two cute teenage girls. I figured some boys had came to see them the night before, crashed into my box, and drove off in a teenage "let's get outta here before someone sees us!" moment.

We started investigating right away. Studmuffin had alerted our local police department, who said it was probably a teenager who panicked and drove off, but we'd never be able to prove it....So....

Studmuffin began investigating. He found pieces of red plastic from a bumper. We have a friend that's a CSI. We figure he can run the pieces through their fancy computer system and learn the make, model, and year of the vehicle. That's what happens on TV. Surely that's art imitating life, right? Plus, mailboxes are property of the USPS, and destroying them is actually a federal offense, right? I'm sure our local CSI is very interested in catching the perps.

Agent Studmuffin interviewed every neighbor. Nobody saw anything, except....

The girls I was blaming for the accident! They were watching TV with their parents, heard a crash, went outside, and saw a man get out of a red pickup, look at the mailbox, jump in, and speed away. I can vouch for the speeding away part because even in the dark you could see his skid marks in the ice on our street. Our second clue! The perp drives a pickup! And, the story confirms our evidence thus far...The vehicle was red! We are getting closer and closer to a suspect...




So, I take back my accusations to these poor innocents, who were originally deemed guilty on the sole basis of being teenagers. They actually helped our investigation! Granted, one said he backed into it, the other said he hit it head on...But we expect these things in the crime business. You get 20 witnesses, they will give you 20 stories. We look for the common thread to piece our investigation together....

So, if anyone in our area sees a suspicious looking man in a red pick up that has either a front or back torn up bumper, please contact this blogger immediately! A reward of chocolate chip cookies will be given to anyone who has information leading to the perpetrator of this federal offense.

I'll keep you posted on the crime scene, and update you about the progress of our investigation. Special Agent Andi, signing off for now.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Oatmeal Cookies

So, I'm not keeping you waiting long for my famous oatmeal cookies. Okay, sorta famous....Like not even remotely known past my tiny sphere of acquaintances famous, but my family and friends love them, and scarf them down in no time flat. Or should I say "fat?'' because that's what will happen if you don't limit the quantity of these sheer heaven, melt in your mouth oatmeal cookies.

Okay, enough hoopla and bragging. Here's the


Super Secret Don't Tell Anyone But I Found This Recipe On The Back of Kroger Quick Oats Oatmeal Cookies


1 c butter, softened
1 c granulated sugar
1 c brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 c flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 c quick oats
1 c nuts-optional

Mix butter & sugars-then beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients (except oatmeal and nuts), then stir into sugar mixture BY HAND. I add about 1/3 of the dry ingredients at a time. Add oatmeal and nuts. Bake 12-14 minutes at 375.

I don't know my grandma's recipe, but I can tell you 2 very major variations from this one. She packs them full of raisins, nuts, and sometimes dried cranberries. I think she adds it until the dough will just barely stick together, then bakes them. They are fabulous that way, and that's how she convinces herself it's okay to eat these for breakfast....and lunch...and probably supper too. I do know she also uses real butter.

So, here's the story: You knew you were going to get one, right? Grandma went to the doctor for her annual blood work, check-up, etc. Her cholesterol was over 350. But, that was down last year from over 400! You see, she thought these cookies were good for her cholesterol because of all the oatmeal she was eating. I guess it didn't cancel out the 2 sticks of butter! She hasn't been taking her cholesterol medicine either. Why take cholesterol medicine at 88 years old? She's lived a full life. Those meds have very uncomfortable side effects, and people often have to try several to find the one that doesn't bother them. Why deal with that at 88? I say, "More oatmeal Grandma!" I'm sure she agrees!

Disclaimer: I am NOT telling anyone it is okay to not take your meds. She is 88, for pete's sake. You probably are not. If you do have side effects from your cholesterol meds, tell your doctor, and they will switch you to a different one. Also, diet and exercise can do amazing things. Can you say "exercise?" Give it a try!

And a quick rant here: If you have a genetic predisposition to high cholesterol, this does not mean you shouldn't treat it because "God made you that way." It means you should be more conscious of what you eat, exercise, and take your meds!!! If you are genetically predispositioned to cancer you don't ignore it! You treat it! *Has anyone noticed my little profile comment about my own predisposition to bossiness? I'm sure that explanation is abundantly clear to you now!*

Okay, I'm done now. Go make yourself some fattening, high cholesterol oatmeal cookies!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Rose is a Rose

Before you proceed one sentence further, I must warn you. This post is NOT about beautiful flowers. The exact opposite in fact. It is about filth. Disgusting-ness. Utter gross-out-ness. Beyond belief, someone help me please to end the perpetuation of such ickiness for the deluded idea of self-expression.

So, now you know....Proceed with the knowledge that you've been forewarned.

So, who's been watching American Idol? I haven't. I wanted to, I really did. I like to watch the auditions, then skip the whole group audition junk, and rejoin when they get down to the good people.

Tonight I actually tuned into Idol. I was doubting I would be successful in actually viewing it, but short of one call during the first 10 minutes, (from my BROTHER!! Some of you will understand the utter absurdity of this, while the rest will remain blissfully ignorant, though now thoroughly curious) I saw the whole thing. I enjoyed it, as always.

What I was disturbed by was the very last audition by a lovely young ragamuffin by the name of Rose. Of course, she had a great story. She lived in a van with her dad until he died when she was 13. Her mother died 2 years later, and she now lives with her best friend's family, in a house. She was cute as a button despite her strange attire and messy hair style. My only problem was....

THE GIRL HAD NO SHOES ON!!!!!

I hate bare feet in public. I would wig out when my kids took their shoes off in the nursery at church. No bare feet in public, please. It just isn't sanitary! And it makes your feet ugly! Come on, girls, don't we all want pretty feet? Didn't we all make sure our feet were clean and toenails painted before we went to that delivery room to birth those babies?

They showed this lovely girl skipping joyfully down the street with her golden ticket....AND HER FEET WERE COMPLETELY BLACK!

WITH FILTH OFF OF THE STREET AND FLOOR!!

I know she grew up in a van, but come on! Surely someone would tell her to PUT SOME SHOES ON!

Did the judges comment on her state of barefootedness? No. They commented on how pretty and cute she is, and how much they like her. No mention of bare feet.

Please. Please. Please don't make me look at this child's bare feet for the rest of the season! I can't take it!

This concludes our rant for this lovely Wednesday evening. Thank you. I'm better now.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Desperate Times Call for Chocolate Chip Cookies


I craved chocolate chip cookies all day yesterday. This is a somewhat weird craving for me because I would classify chocolate chip as my least favorite cookie. My favorite is oatmeal, hands down. And, yes, I'm bragging, but I do happen to make the best oatmeal cookies I've ever tasted. Granted, I've never entered any sort of contest, but they are kiss-yo'-mama good! Oh, wait...Maybe my Grandma Irene's are better. But good luck on ever getting that recipe. The woman doesn't own a cook book, and never uses recipes. To learn more about this incredible woman click here.

Okay, I digressed...we were talking chocolate chip cookies. I was madly craving them. I read my sister's blog last night. Out to the side she has lists of things she loves. She listed homemade chocolate chip cookies. THAT DID IT!!! I continued to fantasize about those blasted cookies until I relented and made them out of desperation with Popcorn today. We are having an ice storm, so there was no school today. I wasn't needed at work. We cancelled all but emergency procedures, so my boss let me stay home (I have the longest commute.)

So, you know this is not just a simple post about making cookies, right? Not only making cookies, but the drama that I must infuse in every tiny crevice of my life. The title gives that away. What sort of drama could be involved with a simple cookie? Well, you KNOW I'm going to tell you!

I didn't have chocolate chips. I scavenged my cupboards. I found my Dove special dark chocolates. I'm a firm believer in having one piece every day at 4 o'clock. It gets me through the day, satisfies my chocolate cravings, and gives me a boost of powerful antioxidants! I chopped up about 12 chocolates.

We commenced with gathering the remaining ingredients....My brown sugar was no good. SOMEONE (and by someone I mean, of course, me) left the convenient zip lock bag OPEN and lo and behold, the sugar was all dried out and clumpy. I did not have patience to place an apple in the bag and let it set to resoften and declump my brown sugar. We used all granulated sugar, thank you very much.

I have a sickness...I'm always trying to cram secret nutrition into my baked goods. This means that about half of all flour is always whole wheat. The rest is unbleached all purpose. I also frequently toss in flax seed. I was out of that, so my family missed out on that supplement today. FYI flax seed helps lower cholesterol.

So, today Popcorn and I made dark chocolate chunk cookies. They were YUMMY! Would you like the recipe? Sure you would! Disclaimer: This is not my mother's recipe, which is indisputably better, but a) I don't have that recipe and b) it uses shortening which I also did not have. Remember my whole no hydrogenated oil or high fructose corn syrup thing? Shortening definitely falls into the former category. Obviously I use it for pie crust, but other than that....Anyway, here's the stinkin' recipe.

Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies.

1 1/2 c granulated sugar (the original recipe is equal parts granulated and brown sugar)
1 c butter, softened
1 egg
1 c whole wheat flour
1 1/4 c all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 pieces of Dove Special Dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (if I had had more, I totally would have used them, but I'm a chocolate lover, and the concept of "too rich" is weird to me)

Heat oven to 375. Mix sugars, butter and egg. Stir together dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to sugar mixture. Taste mixture (just to be sure nothing was left out.) Have your child taste a spoonful. Second opinions are very important! The dough will be stiff. Stir in chocolate. Taste mixture again...You may need more chocolate! If it's just right drop by rounded teaspoons onto baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes.

My tip for you: Use your mixer for the sugar mixture, but NEVER use the mixer after that step. Your cookies will be chewier and softer.

My question for you: Don't chocolate chip cookies have vanilla in them? I didn't put any in. Let me know if I left out a vital ingredient.

So, now you're absolutely DYING to know what my recipe is for oatmeal cookies aren't ya? Well, too bad. I'm saving that post for another day. I've got to keep you coming back for more, don't I?

Saved by a Tag

I was struggling with blogger's block. I know, it seems impossible. I have lots of ideas, but they're not fully formulated. Of course that is normally how I function...

Anyway, here's how it works. Go to the place you keep your pictures on your computer. Go to the 4th folder. Open the 4th picture and explain it.

This picture was taken at Popcorn's class Christmas party. It's out of focus. They were dancing wildly to Christmas music. Her teacher went all out. They had chili dogs, nachos, cupcakes, and lots more that I can't remember. I do remember one little boy ate 4 hot dogs.

So, who to tag? I would tag Mom, but she'd stress out about how to find pictures, how to upload them, etc. I guess I'll tag Becky because that's all that's left. My blogger contacts have not expanded by any margin since my last tag, and my sister tagged the other people I know. So, go Becky go!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Who Needs Starbucks?

Okay, there's been lots of hoopla in bloggerland regarding an Ugly Mug contest at 2nd Cup of Coffee. It's cute and looks like fun. The prize is a gift card to Starbucks. I have issues with Starbucks. I have issues period, I know...but especially with Starbucks.

We have a Starbucks right in the hospital. You can swipe your badge and it automatically payroll deducts. Isn't that so convenient it's scary? I've only gone there once, and am not sure how to get back there. (The hospital covers an entire city block, and I don't have time for much wandering.)

The reasons I haven't been back are multiple
1. I can see this seriously cutting into my paycheck at $4 a cup.
2. The group from my unit that I went with finds my paying with cash tiresome. You know the commercial where the world goes into chaos because someone paid with cash? You would think this happened when I pulled out my $5 to pay. They don't get my whole "I have a budget with x amount of cash that can go towards nonsense. If I payroll deduct, I lose track, blow my budget, and then I can no longer lecture Studmuffin for losing track of where he spent what money and what it was for." I need my righteous indignation. This annoys them because it takes 30 seconds longer for the cashier to make change for me. That takes care of me taking coffee breaks with them.
3. Nobody should EVER pay for coffee at a hospital. There is always a pot of coffee to be found somewhere.
4. My requirements for coffee are simple: no oily sludge on top? I'll drink it!
5. Did I mention it's $4 a cup?
6. I don't have any more reasons, but I feel 5 is not enough, so I will add the #6 just to make it seem more important.

So, you can see I don't have any driving need for Starbucks. AND, I've heard (you may need to snopes this, 'cause I'm too lazy to verify facts here) they put more caffeine in their coffee. That's why they have such faithful customers. They literally get addicted to Starbucks.

But, I DO LOVE LOVE LOVE COFFEE!!!

I love the smell. I love the taste. I love holding it in my hands and feeling the warm mug. I love the ritual of drinking coffee. I love everything about it. I like it hot, black and strong. I like it with creamer. I like it flavored. I like it any way, any time, any place.

I LOVE COFFEE!

So, the nurse in me feels driven to educate you. I am going to educate you on a very important subject today. Aren't you just dying to know what that is?

It's my super secret recipe that I'm now going to reveal to you, my devoted followers in bloggerland. I can feel your anticipation building.


How to Make a Redneck Tall Mocha Cappuccino
An instructional manual in photographic format for your viewing pleasure.










Now, wasn't that fun? And cheaper too! Enjoy!

A Big FAT Screaming Laugh for you

Okay, I somehow missed this post on my sister's blog a few days ago. I just watched it, and man was it HI-LA-RI-OUS!!!! Follow this LINK to her blog and watch this video.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Me! Me! Me!

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?

Not really. My mom wanted to name me Jill. She succeeded in obtaining it for a middle, but not first. She had visions of that being my nickname. She thought she had some sort of control over that being the mom and all. So, shortly before I was born, they saw a movie with a character (princess I'm sure!) named Andrea, and the rest is history!

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?

Tuesday. Copious amounts. It was very purging.

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?

NOBODY likes my handwriting. It's awful and I make no apologies for it. I say that sloppy handwriting never determined my success in life, and I'm sticking to that.

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?

Mesquite turkey breast? Or maybe black forest ham? Oooo! I know! Bologna (but only occasionally...too many chemicals.)

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS?

Yep. 2 girls. And a husband. Yes, he counts because I have to cook his meals, do his laundry, and keep up with his appointments.

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?

Sadly, no. There is only room for one person as obnoxious as me in a relationship, and I've already filled that roll. Seriously, I think that is what keeps me from getting closer to Bookworm's teacher at school. She annoys me, and yet I can see myself in her. SCARY.

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM?

Only when absolutely necessary. I've noticed it's frequently necessary.


8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?

Yep. But I don't have my appendix!

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?

Pre-kids, the answer would have been a resounding yes. Now, no. But I did go skydiving the month before I got pregnant with Bookworm.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?

GrapeNuts

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?

No, but I have to untie them to put them back on. My feet are on the skinny side and I have to really cinch up my laces. Don't hate me because my feet are skinny.....I crack me up!

12. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?

Becky, who sent this to me reminded me of Bear Claw ice cream from Kroger. I miss Kroger! I loved that ice cream. Here in Oklahoma we have Braum's and that means my favorite is German Chocolate. It is FABULOUS!!

13. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?

Okay, this isn't the first thing I notice, but a weird thing I notice is veins. If you have big water hose veins, I can't help but notice. I also notice people who are barrel chested with lung disease, have clubbed fingers from lung disease, and the list goes on and on. It's a quick superficial health assessment of everyone I meet. I know, I'm weird. I'm totally okay with that.

14. RED OR PINK?

Since I'm so shy and retiring I know this will shock you, but......... RED!!!!

15. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?

My incessant talking. Seriously, I wish I would just shut up sometimes. It's really a nervous habit. I'm uncomfortable with silence in stressful situations, so I feel compelled to tell a story to lighten the atmosphere. Unfortunately, I then walk away and say "Andi, SHUT UP!"

Of course, there's times when I'm just talking because I have so much important information to share with as many people as possible and I. MUST. DO. IT!

16. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?

My friends in Texas.

17. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO COMPLETE THIS LIST??

Sure! I think everyone should stop and really examine their souls...Find out what's important to them...I can feel that this survey is really increasing my self-awareness and helping me find my inner peace. (Okay, since you can't hear my voice right now, I must tell you to please refer to #7.)

18. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?

Blue jeans, and Ugg knock offs. My toes have not adapted to Oklahoma weather and they are COLD!!!

19. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?

Phineas and Ferb. My life is so exciting.

20. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?

Are you ready for this?

Are you?

Brace yourself!

Purple Mountains MAJESTY!!!! Oh, seriously, I crack me up!

21. FAVORITE SMELLS?

Coffee.
Baking anything sweet.
Rain (in the country)
Fresh cut grass
Okay, and one weird one: the smell of kids after they come in from playing in the cold. It's that special kid/cold/sweaty smell. I love it.

22. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?

Studmuffin

23. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO POSTED THIS NOTE?

Becky? Of course!! I'm sure she would totally be my BFF if I had actually ever met her, or talked to her, knew what she looked like, what she likes and doesn't like, what her favorite food is, or, or, or......or even really knew where she lived, or anything about her other than what she chooses to share with complete strangers on the world wide web! But other than those infinitesimal details, I'm sure we're BFFs!

24. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?

Basketball, if it's real life. Otherwise, all sporting events become chances for me to socialize (like the Super Bowl) or take a nap.

25. HAIR COLOR?

Naturally? I seem to recall a nice dark brown. But it's been 15 years since I had a natural hair color. It is currently called Mocha according to my hairdresser. Before that it was warm auburn. Before that it was Warm Maple from L'Oreal Excellence Cream....Let's see, that's all I can remember for now...but there have been many, MANY other colors.

26. EYE COLOR?

Bluish-green

27. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?

Nope.

28. FAVORITE FOOD?

Dark chocolate.

29. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?

Happy ending.

30. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?

Monsters Inc. And I even picked it out.

31. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?

Red with my church logo on it.

32. SUMMER OR WINTER?

Neither. Fall or Spring.

33. HUGS OR KISSES?

Are we referring to the candy? If not, I require lots of both. I think the world would be a better place if we would just hug more. (singing in my head "All we need is love!")

34. FAVORITE DESSERT?

Anything chocolate. Or apple pie.

35. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND?

Anyone, like me, who is apparently very vain and feels that the entire universe has been dying to know all about them.

36. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND?

Anyone who actually has a life outside of their computer.

37. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?

I'm currently doing Beth Moore's "Stepping Up" Bible study. And I'm reading "Belles on Their Toes." It's the sequel to "Cheaper by the Dozen." And they are both true stories. It's fun and requires little brain power.

38. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?

I use a lap top. So, I use the mouse pad on it.

39. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT?

Monster's Inc. Oh! And figure skating!

40. FAVORITE SOUND(S)?

My kids laughter. Anything nature.

41. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES?

Okay, here's something that I'm almost embarrassed to admit...I really only know who they are, but I have no idea what they sang. I frequently know entire songs word for word, but will have no idea who sang them. This is the situation with both of the above, so although I'm sure I actually know some of their songs, I don't know if I do for sure.....Lame I know.

42. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?

England. I went there with the Oklahoma Youth Choir in 1995. I had a broken foot. It was definitely memorable!

43. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?

Does the ability to ramble for hours about nothing constitute a talent? No? Well, I can sing.

44. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?

Out on the prairie. You know, Oklahoma is very rural. My mom went out to milk the cows, felt a slight twinge (I was number four you know) and had me in the barn next to the hay bales. Yep, me and Jesus, we were both born in a manger!

I'm kidding! I'm kidding! Sheesh, Mom, relax! I was born in a HOSPITAL in Beaver Oklahoma.

45. WHOSE ANSWERS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK?

As a blogger, I tend to have voyeuristic tendencies, so I need to know every detail of all of your lives. Thank you.

46. HOW DID YOU MEET YOUR SPOUSE/SIGNIFICANT OTHER?

Ummmmmm......That's an entire post for another day. Let's just say for brevity's sake (I'm sure you do have things to get done today and this is an incredibly LONG survey) that the first time we met I thought he was a loser, and he thought I was weird. At least one of us was wrong (me, obviously!)

So, there you have it. All of the things you needed to know about me, but didn't realize the complete void you had in your life until now. You can all rest in peace knowing that your lives are more complete. I'm here for you.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Multitasking

Don't we as women tend to pride ourselves on multitasking? Don't we all secretly sneer at men's inability to multitask? Okay, I know that's a general statement there, but come on...it's USUALLY true.

Alas, sometimes my multitasking becomes too much for my feeble brain to handle.

I've started working on Fridays. It's a quick, easy shift: 9am-2pm. Easy peezy lemon squeezy. One quick note, I seem to miss lunch on these short shifts because it never seems time yet, then it's time to go....

So, I show up at 9. My first patient is there. As soon as I have him ready, the doctor is ready. We do his procedure, I wheel him to recovery. I do one set of vitals....Hmmmm, there's an update on the schedule at the desk. It seems my next patient is here. I didn't even know I had a next patient, considering this guy has to recover until 1pm (it's only a little after 11.) Another nurse is recovering her patient, mine is stable, so she agrees to babysit him.

I thank her, glance at the new patient's name "Hernandez." I remember her. No habla ingles. I speak a little Spanish. Usually enough to get me into trouble. She remembers me. She refuses to believe I can't communicate with her more than I can, so she talks nonstop. And expects coherent responses. While I start her IV. Get her vitals. Fill out paperwork. Take her to the back for her procedure. She continued to talk.

*I feel compelled to say, yes, I talk nonstop too. But I'm talking nonstop to people who's primary language is English. So, if they get a headache from me talking, it's due to annoyance, and the strong desire that I would shut up, not because their brain is turning into scrambled eggs from trying to do a million things, and translate.*

We arrive in the procedure room. The doctor is ready. The radiology tech is ready. My patient is talking, praying, talking, praying. I'm scrambling to get her hooked up to all of my equipment, help them with sterile drapes, do the time out (a quick pause where everyone verbalizes who the patient is, and what we're doing), and start administering her sedation. She's still talking....I give her the meds. She's still talking, asking questions. Wait a second....Why is her oxygen saturation 76%? Crud. I forgot to hook her up to oxygen. I dash around like a chicken with it's head cut off trying to untangle oxygen tubing, thread it through and around all of the equipment, under the sterile drape, and put it on her. And I'm still listening to her talk, and trying to make coherent answers to her and the doctor. What I want to say to her is "Cierra la boca por favor y respira del nariz." or in English, "Close your mouth please, and breathe through your nose." Disclaimer: I'm not sure of the spelling of the Spanish sentence. No criticism please...thank you. I was feeling very frazzled. You see, my Spanish is very sketchy. I have to think about what she said, change it all to English in my head, formulate a reply in Spanish in my head, and then try to answer her. E-gad.

Seriously, the actual procedure was only 15 minutes. But by the end, I was more exhausted mentally than after my 2 hour procedure I'd done before her. Then, when I wheel her to recovery, her son, my hero, my translator, is GONE!! I don't know where. She says I told him he could go to work. NO I DIDN'T! My Spanish is sketchy, but I KNOW I didn't tell him that. She fretted and babbled while I tried his cell phone. No answer. I thought maybe he wasn't answering because he didn't recognize the number. I called another son to see if he could get him. No answer for him either. She frets and babbles. I call another son, she talks to him, and bemoans the irresponsibility and untrustworthiness of her children....I continue to recover her (not that she needed recovery, she never went to sleep), my other patient, and try to admit yet another patient. I was ready to scream. Ummm, I know this is TMI, but did I mention Aunt Flo showed up in the middle of all of this? And she was here the first week of January! I know I didn't send her an invitation. What the heck is she doing here?

Lo and behold, here comes her son...My hero....He was sheepishly apologetic. He'd went to grab lunch and stopped by the gift shop, and his cell phone didn't ring. Oh well. He showed up. He got her off of my back. I felt so relieved to wheel her out. I felt kind of guilty. She is sweet as can be, and just loves all the "enfermeras y doctores." Even though she has had to come see us once a month since she received her dialysis graft 9 months ago, and her last repair only lasted one day. I was still glad to see her go. I will see her again soon enough.

I was so glad when I noticed it was 1:50. I punted all responsibilities to the other nurses, snarfed down a sandwich in 5 minutes flat, and headed out the door. No more multitasking for me. No thank you. I went home and stared into space for the next few hours.

Friday, January 23, 2009

How to Patch Jeans

Popcorn has worn the right knee out of all but 2 pairs of jeans. At first, I was ignoring it...You know, small holes are easy to ignore...But, then they became large holes, and that was NOT so easy to ignore. I commented on it to my mom a few times in hopes that she would offer to get in the car, come to my house and patch them. She didn't take the hint.

Okay, I'm going to digress here for a minute. I used to pretend I liked to sew. I thought it was something I needed to be able to do and do well in order to be a good mommy. You see, my mommy sewed, and she was a great mommy. My oldest sister sewed for her kids and she is a wonderful mommy. Therefore, I thought I needed to sew in order to be a wonderful mommy. (BTW, my other sister is a wonderful mommy too, but her kids are the same age as mine, so she didn't give me any preconceived notions of how mommies should be. Don't you wish she'd get a blog so you could learn about all of the wonderfulness of her family? Me too.) So, I had this idea I should sew.

A few things anyone who doesn't know about sewing might want to know in order to understand the complete LAUGHABILITY (hey, I made up a new word! And it works so well!) of me enjoying sewing. Did you know sewing requires patience? Did you know that it requires precision, and attention to detail? Did you know that I DO NOT in any way, shape or form enjoy any of these things?

So, now I'm liberated. I realize I do not enjoy sewing and I refuse to feel guilty about it. I enjoy other things...Things that give me instant gratification, require little patience, and can usually be eaten. My children appreciate this, believe me. We love cooking in this house.

Wednesday I gave up on my mom patching Popcorn's jeans. I considered buying new jeans. That seems so pointless. The next size up is too big. Her current size is really almost too small. I threw that idea out the window.

I came up with a wonderful system for patching jeans. Would you like to learn? GREAT!!! I knew you would.

How to Patch Your Child's Jeans Because You Are Too Tight to Buy New Ones

  1. Try to convince your mother to patch them for you. She will do it properly. It will last. AND, this is easier for you.
  2. After this fails, go to Walmart.
  3. Find the perfect mirrors for your master bath for $29. Buy 2 with the Christmas money you've been saving.
  4. Find a cute warm up suit. The bottoms are 9 bucks, as well as the matching jacket. You've been needing new workout gear since yours is circa before two kids. Buy these with your Christmas money as well.
  5. Do a happy little jig because this year you refused to buy groceries with your share of the cash. Try to ignore the jiggly you notice with the jig. That's what #4 is for.
  6. Buy some grapefruit. They've been really good this year! (Maybe it will help with #5?)
  7. Finally make your way to the sewing notions (after looking at some lipstick, then giving up because they no longer make the color you used to wear, yet you continue to carry the empty tube to, just in case you can find it and can't remember the name.)
  8. Find the wonderfully simple fabric glue. Throw this in your cart. Unfortunately you will end up using Christmas money for all of the purchases, because it's too much hassle to separate out "yours" and "the family's" stuff.
  9. Go home......Obviously!!!
  10. Check your blog.
  11. Look at the jeans you need to patch. Cut off the excess thread.
  12. Vacuum your floors. This is suddenly VITALLY important, and you must do it now!
  13. Find an old pair of jeans that neither kid can fit in, already has stains and has been previously patched (by the mother who now seems unable to patch jeans, even though she is 400 miles closer.) These will make perfect patches!
  14. Decide you better sort through those bills and make sure they're all caught up! You would hate to lead your family into debt because you were so wrapped up in patching jeans you forgot to pay them!
  15. What sort of patch will you make? Hearts? Flowers? Stars? Will you use the fabric paint that you found in your closet, yet have no idea where it came from? This is all so much to think about. You may decide this needs some extra thought. Maybe even stimulants.
  16. Brew a pot of coffee....The better to think with.
  17. Hey! All Star Workouts is on! Better get that new warm up suit on and give it a try!
  18. Back to the jeans...Hold the heart you have cut out to the knee of your pants. This may look a little obvious. So, you may need to cut out additional cute little hearts to trail down the opposite leg so that it looks more natural.
  19. Maybe at this point it's time to call your best friend in Arlington. Sadly, you've been playing phone tag with her since after Christmas, but today you may actually catch her and hear all about her precious boys and the joys of potty training child #3.
  20. At last it is time to glue your patch in place. The glue is water soluble until dry, and the jeans should not be washed for 24 hours. It's also fun to apply some fabric glitter glue at this stage to jazz things up a bit.

Now it's time to show your child their wonderful patched pants and bask in the joy and adoration of your youngest child who is never ready to part with her clothes...Especially because parting with clothes means replacing them, and that means shopping...a chore she enjoys as much as you enjoy sewing.

Now. Wasn't that fun?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Blessed

I drug my pitiful self to church last night. We were having a concert, and I went out of guilt...you know...show support and all of that...

Isn't it great how God decides to bless obedience even when we aren't doing it joyfully? In fact, I was so non-joyful, that I spent 10 minutes looking for my keys, screamed in frustration and dumped my nursing bag out, still didn't find them, stomped around the house, and ended up finding them in my purse which I had apparently transferred my billfold, planner and KEYS to when I got home from work....(And yes, my children laughed at me.)But I went to the concert when I didn't want to and God blessed me. I cried. It was so beautiful. I sat next to a friend who kept asking "Honey, are you okay?" I was wonderful. I came home refreshed and renewed.

AND remember me lamenting about wanting TexMex? Well, they're having Mexican pile on at church tonight, and that's the next best thing, and it will only cost $8 to feed the whole family. Woo-hoo! While this meal will not completely satisfy my longing, it will definitely tamp down the beast.

I am blessed because I have a God who wants to give me pleasure...even in small ways like providing me with a Mexican food fix. Amen.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Where were you when....

So, don't you always remember exactly where you were when historic events happened? I do. I'm usually at work. I usually miss the historic events because I'm taking care of patients...

The millennium? I was at work, trying to save a patient who was having a heart attack...I had taken care of this gentleman the Thanksgiving and Christmas before the millennium, and he'd had a heart attack each night. No kidding. He finally ended up having a bypass surgery that he had less than 20 percent chance of surviving....and he did survive! I got to take care of him after it, and sent him to a rehab hospital with his lovely wife who had rheumatoid arthritis of her hands, so she was unable to help him transfer from the bed to the wheelchair...Oh! I think I forgot to mention he was a brittle diabetic with end stage kidney disease and he had both legs amputated. I wasn't actually too thrilled with him having surgery, but he survived, went to rehab, and as far as I know lived a healthier life, at least cardiac wise. Anyway, the night of the millennium I took care of him I seem to remember he stabilized long enough for me to watch the fireworks in downtown Fort Worth and drink sparkling apple cider with my coworkers from a comatose patient's room... Aren't nurses morbid?

The tornado through downtown Fort Worth? I was at work, and I COULD have watched it out a window if I hadn't been frantically moving my patients into the hallway, and then sitting at the bedside of a ventilator dependent patient who was coherent and scared to death. I would have been too, but I was too busy worrying about the patients to really absorb what was happening.

The inauguration of President Obama? I was at work...Only this time I was stuck in the cave known as the radiology department assisting a radiologist do a biopsy on a mass in a man's neck. The poor man has been living with pain in his left neck and arm for months. The man had previously had renal cancer, and it looks like on our CT scant that it has metastasized to the bone. The mass on his neck is eating into his ribs and causing his pain. Of course, I couldn't tell him this, that is up to his doctor....But I could pray with him, and I did. It was sad.

So, I have a new LIFE resolution...I don't want to be at work when anything historic happens...It seems to lead to stressful, and sad situations.

Boy, was that post depressing or what?

Want to know what's worse? Being sad makes me want TexMex...and it's hard to find good TexMex around here...So I'm stuck grilling fish instead. Bummer. I think I'll drown my sorrows in a can of chocolate covered potato chips.

*After reading what I just blogged, I feel compelled to say, yes, I still love being a nurse. But some days I hate it. Some days I wonder why I love this job. I think it's because I CAN make a difference in a patient's life when they are scared, sad, and unsure what is coming for them. They often don't have a diagnosis yet. Or, they may be looking into treatment for the diagnosis that they do have. But either way it's scary and uncertain. I have the privilege to care for them in this time. I get to pray with them, joke with them, and hopefully make them feel better if only in that moment that they are in my care. I get to remind them, and myself, that we have a God who loves us, who has a plan for all of us, and that He works everything for the good of those who love Him and are called to His purpose. I often pray those very words over them. I pray for his peace that transcends our human understanding. I pray for a quick diagnosis, a successful procedure, and healing. That is the privilege I have in being a Christian and having a God who listens to me, and allows me to take part in his work. That is why I love my job...Even though today I hated it.

I also love when I find a giant stack of Watchtower magazines in our waiting area and get the pleasure of SLAMMING them into the recycle bin. Shhhh....Don't tell anyone!

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Life Lesson...Hypothetically speaking, of course

Let's pretend for a moment, shall we? Let's just say, that hypothetically one child has a ring pop that she is eating. The other child wants to taste it. Now, the latter child has a ring pop, but cannot eat it until after her game. Child number one offers to let her sister taste it. Hypothetically speaking, of course.

The mother of this hypothetical pair pipes up, "No, you can't share your sucker, your sister has a cold." The hypothetical mother in this hypothetical situation then witnesses her hypothetical daughter, who is having a surprising moment of a sharing spirit GIVE HER SISTER A LICK OF HER SUCKER. Well, this hypothetical mother then said, "Okay, now you're going to go throw that sucker away. I don't want you to get your sister's cold."

Hypothetical child of the ring pop disappears around the corner....presumably to dispose of her sucker in the bathroom trashcan....

Time is passing by...

Passing by.....

Now, let's just say, hypothetically speaking, of course, that child of the ring pop comes bursting around the corner, face VERY red........................coughing..................... choking.................gagging.

Hypothetical Mom: Are you choking?
Child makes gagging and coughing sounds, but is moving air, so hypothetical mom, who could possibly be, hypothetically, a nurse, tells child to go to the bathroom, and follows her.

Just to add a little interest to this purely hypothetical situation, let's pretend it's picture day for basketball, and child with a cold's entire team and their parents have witnessed all of the above exchange.....If this were not a purely....hypothetical situation, you can imagine the gasps and murmurs of concern....

Mom and child who is not choking on her sucker (so she is vehemently denying at this point) quickly make their way to the bathroom. Child who is not choking, continues to cry and make gagging noises....

Hypothetical mom: Did you go around the corner and chew your ring pop as fast as you could instead of THROWING IT IN THE TRASH?
Child shakes head emphatically no, but continues to cry and cough.
Hypothetical mom, now holding coughing child's face in her hands and looking as mean as she, hypothetically, can.....IS THERE A PIECE OF SUCKER STUCK IN YOUR THROAT THAT IS HURTING, THAT IS MAKING YOU COUGH, MAKING YOU GAG, AND MAKING YOU CRY!?!
Child, no longer meeting Hypothetical Mom's eyes, slowly nods yes.
Hypothetical Mom (with, quite possibly, hypothetically speaking of course a look of smug victory on her face): Well, that's what happens when you don't mind your mommy. Drink some warm water, the candy will dissolve, and stop hurting in a little bit......

And with that she leaves the bathroom, hypothetical crying child in tow.

Now, let's say Hypothetical Mom and child round corner to find everyone anxiously watching for them and asking after the well being of this hypothetical child....

Hypothetical Mom in all her hypothetical nurseyness replies, "She's fine, she just had to learn what happens when you don't mind your mommy"....quiet laughter is heard in the hallway from various other hypothetical parents.....

So, in the above hypothetical situation, one might assume that the hypothetical child of the ring pop would have learned to mind her hypothetical mom. Sadly, one would be VERY wrong in making that assumption....

Hypothetical child of the ring pop had received a juice pouch from her hypothetical teammates after her hypothetical game....

Hypothetical Mom: Do not open your juice pouch. We don't want to spill juice on the church floor. You can drink your water....

You can see where this is going, can't you? No one ever accused you of being slow Dear Reader....

At about this time Hypothetical Dad is back with sandwiches to share with his hypothetical family between 2 games and 2 sets of team pictures....

Hypothetical Dad: I thought I heard your mom telling you not to open it....Oh well, it's open now, hurry up and drink it....

Let's pretend, just for a moment, now humor me here....that the hypothetical mom's head spun around so fast it nearly broke the sound barrier, and saw this hypothetically EXTREMELY DISOBEDIENT child sucking on a juice pouch....Now, let's pretend that hypothetical mom RIPPED the above juice pouch out her hypothetical child's hand and carried it to the trash herself.....

You see, Dear Reader, the hypothetical mom can learn a hypothetical lesson....Never trust a hypothetically EXTREMELY DISOBEDIENT child to actually throw away her treats!

The end.

Hypothetically, of course.

Disclaimer
This is a hypothetical situation. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the hypothetical author's imagination or are used hypothetically, and any resemblance to actual hypothetical persons, living or dead is entirely coincidental. Hypothetically speaking, of course.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

More Conversations with Kids

I haven't shared any riveting conversations I've had with my girls lately. We've had lots of fascinating life lessons, let me tell you...but here's a few to start.

We did sleepovers last night. Bookworm had a friend over and Popcorn went to stay the night with someone. Studmuffin was late getting home from work. I made a comment like this "I hope that handsome husband of mine gets home soon." Bookworm followed with "I know what's going to happen then...kissing....and then DANCING!"

Dancing? Dancing? We got The Sound of Music for Christmas. I think she's been watching a little too much. I laughed and said, "Kissing? Probably, but dancing?"

At this point her friend piped up "I'd pay to see that, and I want front row seats!"

Conversation #2
The girls both got up 15 minutes early on Friday morning. This left plenty of time to strip their beds so I could wash sheets before they left for school. It also gave Popcorn all sorts of time to share her vast amount of knowledge with me. Did you know that eating breakfast is important and very good for you? Did you know that if you use stain remover it will just make your stains fall off? Even if you didn't get it treated right away! And you can buy clothes that when you get stains on them, the stain doesn't stick... It just falls off! The list went on and on...Did you know...Did you know...

Me: Wow! You sure know a lot of stuff today!
Popcorn: Yep! I watch commercials!

Conversation #3

Bookworm has issues with piano. She doesn't like to practice songs that are hard. She never wants to be challenged. I blame this on her intelligence. Yes, I know I'm bragging, but I can tell you from experience here...If school has always came easy and required little to no effort to make all A's it's hard to understand why something should not just come to you easily.

I was the same way with piano. Only worse. I would play, mess up, bang my fists on the keyboard, yell "I hate this!" just in case someone didn't hear my little fit, and continue...Strangely, my mom let me quit piano...Wonder why?

I refuse to let my girls quit. And it really is due to school coming so easily. I want them to learn to work for something and persevere even when it's not easy. College was quite a shock to me, and I darn near lost my scholarship my first semester, because I'd never had to learn to study, or even put effort into things. Just being honest here. So, no matter how bad they want to quit (which is really only about once a week, the rest of the time, they practice without complaint) they will take piano until they're 19. Someday they'll realize that this is past adulthood, but don't tell them.

So, all that rambling to say Bookworm did not to practice her song The Weeping Willow. She kept wanting me to play it for her. I played it once, then told her she'd just have to struggle through a few times. This makes her itch. Seriously, when she can't get a song right off, she gets upset and has to scratch instead of playing the piano. This results in me getting exasperated, leaving the room so I don't have to look at her, and mentally counting how many times she practiced each song.

Well, this night was a rough night for her. I know you'd never believe this of a child of mine, but she has a very SLIGHT tendency towards dramatics. Like blown 20 million times bigger than my tendency. (Scary, I know. I'm dreading puberty.) I got so annoyed with her histrionics, I told her go to bed. She stomped away, screamed "NO!!!" And slammed her bedroom door. And began to throw things. Her dad went to talk to her. "You're not spanking me!" She said when he opened the door.

Oh, Gentle Reader, she was heading towards trouble...big time. She knew, we knew it, and yet she continued to throw her fit. Do you know what the root of this fit was? You see, when I told her to go straight to bed, she had NOT YET BRUSHED HER TEETH!!! That's right, this whole explosion was over missing brushing her teeth!

We had a not-so-gentle discussion about whether any of her actions of the night were going to get the results she wanted (teeth brushed, no spanking, etc.) She conceded probably not. She is grounded for 2 weeks from tv, computer and video games. I forgot she was grounded when I agreed to the sleepover, and didn't remember until the friend was already here. She has one week from tomorrow left for this punishment to be up.

Actually, I hadn't planned on sharing all of that. What I was going to say is this: She commented last night, "Hey! I like this song! It doesn't make me itch any more!" And she played it extra....for the fun of it!

Be still my heart.

Friday, January 16, 2009

My husband is the best!!!

Remember my plan to paint my counter tops? Well, Studmuffin got wind of the plan....And guess what? It scared the CASH right out of him. We ordered counter tops today! Woohoo! I'm so happy I could blog! Oh yeah, I am! They will be installed in about a month. Then, Studmuffin will put bead board up instead of a back splash, which I will then paint barn red...I'm so excited...

Hey, did I tell you he's remodeling our guest bedroom closet? It's functional now (as opposed to just a rod and a shelf above.) He's doing such a great job (except he installed all of the shelving "nude" which means I now have to paint it) then he's going to do the girls room next. Then the hall closet.

Yep, my Studmuffin...he's the best!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I have a conundrum.....

Don't you just love that word? It makes me feel smart and verbose and well read....But, seriously, I have a conundrum....

Since we moved to Oklahoma I've struggled with guilt. And not just from my mother! I know! Shocking! I've struggled with guilt related to church. When we first joined our church it was hard to see where they had a need for me, where any of these women who've been together since practically birth would need a new friend, or where I would make friends....I struggled...

So, now time has passed. I'm making friends, but not as intimate as my friends in Texas. I realize that will take time, and part of it is my being willing to be vulnerable to them. I hesitate to call them, because they all seem so busy, and to have so many friends that I can't see where they would possibly need me. Have you realized I have a need to be needed? Hence, the career in nursing...I'm sure I've got some sort of diagnosis to go with this need along with a medication, but I'm quite content with my neuroses at this point. Thank you very much.

Now for the involvement thing...Maybe you need some background for me. You're getting it whether you need it or not. In Arlington I was in choir and heavily involved in MOPS. I was a small group leader, and if you've never done that it's hard to realize the level of commitment it requires. In La Vernia I taught preschool Sunday school, led ladies Bible study on Tuesday mornings, helped with children's church on Wednesday nights, and had a moms support group in my house once a month. And through all of this I worked. Only 2 days a week, but still, I worked.

Act 3: Move to Oklahoma. Where everyone seems VERY involved in our church. That is a great thing, truly it is. But, for someone who needs to be needed, I wasn't sure I was needed. *Boy, that was a grammatically ugly sentence! Again, time has passed....Now, I'm in choir. I help with youth choir and drama on Sunday evenings. I attend ladies Bible study on Wednesday mornings, and I'm serving on the ladies ministry team. I work 2 days a week. I'm going to start picking up most Fridays, so that will put me at 3 days a week. I know to many of you that is heaven. All I can say to you is, I'm sorry you have to work more. Really I am. I recommend everyone be a nurse so you can have flexible hours like me. Oh, and let's not forget my Devotional Divas group. But we only meet once a month, and let me tell you, I'm not giving up my girls night for nuthin'!

So, here I am, wondering why the heck I fretted about not being involved enough. Yet, I'm feeling guilty for not teaching Sunday school. At the same time I'm questioning "Do I really have to go to church every Sunday evening? What about Wednesday evening Bible study (pastor lead), do I really need to go then? It's not like I'm not spending time in church. I'm there 4 hours on Sunday and 4 hours on Wednesday by the time I eat there and have choir that night. Then, I wonder what the heck is wrong with me? I am not doing enough....

I know I'm being tedious here...I'm annoying myself. On one hand I feel tired and busy and overwhelmed, and on the other hand it feels like I can never do too much for God, because look what he does for me! Can anyone relate? Does anyone feel my pain? Or am I just being a pain with my whining?

Really, I need no response to this. I'm praying about it. Seriously praying about it. I know He'll give me answers and peace. I know that it's not about what others think I should do, but what God has planned for me to do. I want to be in his will. I know he probably hasn't asked me to do a million things, like I feel the need to do...He's asking me to do the thing He wants me to do and to do it for Him, not me.

So, there's my conundrum...I'll let you know what The Boss tells me. I am telling you this, though. I'm not going to church tonight. Even though that means I have to cook, which I don't mind, but then I'll have to clean. But, I haven't seen Studmuffin all week except in passing, and to say goodnight, roll over and start snoring...So, I'm spending time with him until time for choir. Yep, I'm rebelling tonight, and no one can stop me....

Where's the BEEF?


In my freezer! HOORAY! We've been beef deprived since we moved here from Texas. We had this great little grocery store with a butcher in it, and I always bought my meat there. I loved it. It was just like you see in "So I Married an Axe Murderer." I would walk in and actually point at the exact piece of meat I wanted. And they wrapped it up on the spot. Now, to many of you, this is no big deal, but to others of you, who have lived in metropolitan areas, like me, you understand the privilege this was. The ground meat was not in some weird spaghetti looking pattern, packed with oxygen to keep it pink, and then sealed with plastic wrap. You can never get rid of that spaghetti texture...it makes terrible burgers...but I've digressed....

I have BEEF! Thanks to my fabulous parents who gave us beef for Christmas. YEAH! We can now eat tacos, and lasagna, and chili....And so much more!

Hey, here's a great idea for leftover taco meat (I actually eat it this way from the start.) Mix it with a bag of lettuce (I seriously can eat about half a bag for lunch) stir in some salsa, and maybe a smidgen of ranch dressing, and you have taco salad! But real taco salad without tons of calories...It tastes great...try it! Of course there's tons of other stuff you can stir in, but this is the most calorie efficient way.

Speaking of calories....Remember we bought a new car? And how does this relate to calories you ask? Patience, you know I must chase rabbits to get to my point...The dealership we bought our Outlook from sent us a package....

OF CHOCOLATE COVERED POTATO CHIPS!!!!!

No joke. The are to die for. There's dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white fudge....They each came in a tube, like Pringles, and they're Pringle-like chips too. Yum-O! I ate four of them before I even started to reheat my leftover chili for lunch today. Yes, there was a moment of self-loathing afterward...but it was worth it!

Hey, someday I'll do a post on those egg sandwiches I mentioned the other day, but I want to pretend I'm Pioneer Woman, and do pics and everything, which will probably lead to me burning something, which may make the possibility of that post scant...but keep an eye out for it! I don't actually think they're all that special, but it is a great idea for a quick cheap dinner for the family when you're in a hurry and yet still want to eat a sit-down meal with the fam!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Go to this blog

My mom has a blog now! Check it out and you'll see how fabulously funny my whole family is! Just prepare to be wowed....And I do have to tell you that she sent an email to everyone, but didn't know her blog address...I died laughing when I read that...Anyway, I found her, and you should too! However, I do know her address, so for your reading pleasure here it is:

http://wmjones.blogspot.com/


Have fun! And go to my mom's blog now....Go! Go! Go!

Why are you still reading this?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Table Etiquette

So, I bet when you picture the scene at this rambler's table, you envision genteel conversation and good manners. We are all speaking softly, talking about our day. Everyone is eating their food, no complaints. I'm sure that's what your image is....I'm so sorry, I'm afraid I'm about to burst your bubble.

Last night I was actually trying to encourage good manners in my girls. This is a frequent endeavor at our house. I'm not sure why my success is beyond grasp. Bookworm tends to eat with her arms spread out, resting on the table. Since it's just her and her sister over there, this isn't a problem here. But can you imagine sitting next to her in a restaurant? She'd hog the whole table! She says she doesn't do that at school. Of course, that's impossible in such a tight fit.

Popcorn has difficulty sitting down to eat. We actually had to send her to bed 2 times with no supper before she took us seriously on the sitting down and eating factor. She prefers to stand to the side of her chair. She also tends to sit off-center in her chair, which makes it difficult to get food from her plate to her mouth without it going all over her chair and the floor. She has destroyed the cushions on our chairs, and they are now her first housewarming gift when she gets a home of her own.

Last night we had an etiquette discussion. We talked about manners. How to hold a fork. How to sit. How to chew with your mouth closed. How to not spread your arms as wide as you can, and yet not keep them crammed up against your sides and shovel your food in like a total freak. We talked about lisps. We talked about thumb-sucking and it's relativity to lisps. We talked about the possibility of an appliance to stop thumb-sucking in a certain child's future. This lead to tears. Which lead to me regretting mentioning it at the table (by the way, I didn't mention it...another adult who shall remain unnamed at this time brought up the dreaded appliance). Which lead to her not finishing her egg sandwich....

Did you know we love egg sandwiches in this family? Seeing a whole 1/4 egg sandwich sitting on a plate, and not being eaten really tests the fortitude of this family......

Me: Ummmm, I'm sorry you're upset....Are you going to eat that?
Studmuffin: Leave her alone...She's going to eat it.

Time passes by. Tears are dried. Topics changed.....The egg sandwich remained (mind you, a whole 45 seconds has passed.)

Me: Are you going to eat the rest of your sandwich?
Child: No, you can have it.

I eagerly scoop up the sandwich off of the plate, attempt to get it to my mouth when Studmuffin tries to jerk it out of my mouth. I gnaw off a hunk, the rest falls on my plate. I am trying to grab it, but Studmuffin is holding my hands down. I'm laughing, practically spewing egg sandwich all over the table. Studmuffin tries to eat the remains of the sandwich, trough style (for those of you with better manners than us, and incapable of imagining a trough style of eating, this involves planting your face in the plate and eating off of it.) I free one hand, and scoop it out from under his nose, and shove another bite in. At this point the children have joined in the fracas and are tickling me, trying to keep me from eating any more. I'm in serious peril of choking now. I give up the remaining bite of sandwich to Studmuffin. He wolfs it down like he hasn't seen food in months.

So, the question I have for you is this:



Why can't my children learn basic etiquette?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

IF YOU DON'T

GET UNDER THAT BED AND DRAG THOSE BOOKS OUT RIGHT NOW, I'M GOING TO TURN INTO A RAVING LUNATIC, SPIN AROUND 12 TIMES, MY HAIR IS GOING TO STAND ON END, AND SPARKS WILL FLY OUT OF MY NOSE!!!!!
*Me to my children approximately 12 minutes ago when I happened to notice the giant pile of STUFF shoved under their bed when I was putting clean sheets on.

The result: books put in their place. After they composed themselves from laughing their heads off at the imagery of sparks flying out of my nose.

The moral of this little tale: sometimes having moments of raving lunacy breeds the result that you wanted. Even if it does come after they are through laughing at you. Focusing on results here, not the ridicule. Thank you.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Basketball is Our Game


We started Upward Basketball through our church. For anyone who is unfamiliar with Upward sports, they have a great program. Each week in practice they have a devotional and memory verse. The kids get rewards for memorizing scripture and displaying Christian virtues during the season. Each game is began with prayer, and they have a devotion at halftime. It's pretty cool.

So, now that I've given you the skinny on Upward, it's time to begin bragging. Who knew that my reserved little Bookworm could be so aggressive? Last week she only let her opponent have the ball twice, and this week only once. You see, another thing about Upward is they have clips on their uniform that helps them understand who they are to guard. This prevents all of the kids from swooping down on the unfortunate soul who has the ball. Anyway, Bookworm has defense DOWN. She is not letting her opponent have the ball.
Ummmmm, have I ever mentioned she's kind of....well....to put it delicately, she's......welllllll....kind of......SHORT. Do you see the little one in front of the tall one in the above shot? That's my little one. She is a head shorter than most of her opponents. But, that doesn't stop her from guarding them. She even got elbowed in the nose TWICE and kept playing!

Seriously...who is this girl? Is this the same child that when I instructed her to run in the house for her homework as fast as she could (she'd remembered it on the way to school, so I turned around and went back) said "I hope I don't sprain my ankle trying to run." No kidding, she said that. Is this the same child who cried because she hit her hand on the coffee table last night and cried for nearly 10 minutes, at the top of her lungs, wailing, clutching her hand, and rocking back and forth on the floor? Is it? I gotta wonder.....

She has defense down, but offense? She doesn't want to have the ball. I asked her about it, and she said she didn't want to dribble it past half court because "Casey could steal it." That's another rule. They can't steal the ball until it's past half court. So, Bookworm will dribble to half court, stop, and pass it to one of her teammates. I guess that's her self preservation since I'm sure most of the others seem like Amazons to her. We're going to work on dribbling with someone guarding her at home this week. Studmuffin said she won a game of Gotcha this week, so I know she can actually make baskets if she'll just shoot them! Of course, that's without these girls towering over her, blocking the shot too!

Now, Popcorn....She loves basketball too. Last week she got a white star, which represents playing like Jesus would play. In her case that meant with a smile the entire time....And reminding her opponent to guard her. If the girl guarding her happened to wander off, Popcorn would go get her, and show her the clips so she would be guarded. She laughed and smiled the entire game. So did I.
The 1st and 2nd grad league is so much different than 3rd and 4th. They do not steal the ball, and very seldom do they block a shot (back to Bookworm for just a sec....She totally stuffed her opponent one of the times she got the ball. I cheered like a lunatic.) And if the ball starts to go out of bounds....they all just watch it bounce away. It's hilarious. If you're wondering which one is Popcorn in the above shot, she's the one on the far right in white. They are all trying to get the rebound. But none of them actually move to get the rebound. They all just hold up their hands, watch the ball, and whoever it lands closest to grabs it, and half the time takes off running with it down the court. Sometimes dribbling, sometimes not.

The little ones get lots of leeway. If they pick up the ball and run, the ref usually just yells "DRIBBLE! DRIBBLE!" Same thing with double dribbling. If the little one picks it up, the ref will tell them "Pass the ball now! Pass it!" Or "Take the shot!" It's so funny.

Hey, I was just previewing this post, and realized I need to explain something about the pictures (other than the obvious fact that I'm NOT a photographer.) There are 2 games going on at once. We lower the side goals to 8 feet for Popcorn's age and 9 feet for Bookworm, so they actually only use half the court. The older age group do full court, regulation height basketball.

Well, I could go on all day, but I won't. I need to put away the Christmas tree. And do laundry. And take a nap....Maybe I'll skip the first 2 and go straight to a nap.....

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

An addendum to yesterday's list

So, here's why I don't make resolutions...Resolutions infer, well....resolve! And I don't resolve to do much! I plan...not resolve (unless it's carpet cleaner, and with the puppy, I get plenty of action there!) I feel compelled to show the updated list from yesterday. This is why I love lists. If I don't complete the list, it just gets transferred to the next list! Oh, and I know this is way too much info, but when I was in nursing school, working, and president of our local chapter of the National Nurses Student Association, I was so crazy busy, that I LIVED by lists....So much so, that if I did something that was NOT on my list, I would add it, just so I could cross it off....psycho, I know, but it's true. But, I've digressed, we're discussing the progress of yesterday's list....

1. Check blog....of course I did this, and I did it again today.

2. I did finish the laundry...5 loads, and I folded and PUT IT AWAY! Woops, except that small pile in a laundry basket on my bedroom floor...

Excuse me.......

#2 is done!

3.I did not empty and reload the dishwasher...No, instead I piled the dishes a mile high beside the sink, and my hero Studmuffin emptied and reloaded it after he put the girls on the bus this morning....And he emptied it again while I cooked supper tonight! And helped me put dishes away after supper!

4. I exercised...I overdid it. I programmed the TV to automatically change to "Gilad: Bodies in Motion" at 3:30. After it was over, I noticed a workout was coming on that used an exercise ball. I have one of those. So far all of the exercises I've tried on it weren't very challenging...I decided to give this one a whirl......Okay, it was a challenge. Bookworm did it with me on her playground ball. We had a lot of fun, but it turned out instead of a 30 minute workout it was ONE HOUR LONG! And every time he went to commercial we returned to "basic bounce" throught the whole commercial. I walked around on rubber bands the rest of the night. And my back was killing me at work today. I'm not sure if it was standing all day, and 2.5 hours of it being in a lead apron for ONE PROCEDURE on ONE PATIENT....I actually resorted to doing thigh stretches during the procedure it was hurting so dadgum bad. My buttocks are sore. My thighs are sore....But, it was a fun workout...bouncing on a giant ball, dribbling it, rolling across the floor on your tummy on the ball...I recommend it. It was on here on FIT tv at 4pm. Check it out. I do know that particular workout hour is different every day, but I think there's a system on days of the week. Oh, and my back could hurt because my girls could do a backbend over their balls, so I tried it too...without success.

5. Bible Study: did it!

6. I actually decided I didn't need to go to the store!

Well, I don't think I'll be able to post for a few days. I work again tomorrow. Studmuffin's grandma passed away, so we are going to her funeral Thursday, and then I work again Friday. So, I may not chat with you for a few days! Let me know if I miss anything exciting. Be sure I will analyzing my life for "bloggable" moments!